Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Mar 30th, 2011

Thu, March 31st, 2011 at 8:06PM (PDT)


Growing up, I lived for the Saturday afternoons when TV 50 out of Detroit would be playing a Godzilla movie. Of course, them playing it was always a little different from me flat out watching it, as I was a child and children are expected to be outdoors, especially when the weather is nice. If the weather wasn’t nice, well, that would also challenge my chances of seeing “Godzilla vs. the Sea-Monster,” or “Godzilla on Monster Island,” or whatever movie was on. After all, this was long before DVRs, VCRs, or even cable. All the same, Godzilla became a mainstay of my consciousness. I still thrill to the opportunity of viewing a Godzilla flick. Or reading a Godzilla comic.

Of late, though, the attempts haven’t neared the glory of yesteryear, whether that was solely manufactured by my mind or if those older attempts were simply more pure.

This book, however, looks to change much of that, if this first issue is anything to judge the series by. Eric Powel, Tracy Marsh, and Phil Hester understand the awe that a creature such as Godzilla can inspire. They also find a convenient way to diffuse the disbelief bomb that asks, “With today’s advances in military tech, couldn’t we just nuke the giant lizard?” The answer is right here, in issue #1.

Also in this issue is a visual love letter from Phil Hester, Bruce McCorkindale, and Ronda Pattison to the Godzilla I grew up thrilled with. The structure of the pages gives Hester a little more air to work within than I associate with his stuff, but it works magnificently with this issue, helping to establish the enormity of Godzilla and coupling that nicely with the power and ferocity that Toho’s main monster once brought to the screen.

Powell and Marsh do a great job of giving Hester a story to draw to, with big -- and surprisingly little -- moments. This book reads like a lost Godzilla movie from yesteryear, complete with the scenes that remind us of how fragile life can be. Powell and Marsh, however, get to take it farther and place those fragile lives under foot in this issue. There’s no Kenny here to latch onto. This is Godzilla on a rampage and nothing will ever be the same.

This issue doesn’t pretend to pick up from anywhere, nor does it spend time recapping the past. It’s set in the here and now (check out the final page of the story for what I mean there) and gives us a Godzilla that is unrestrained. This is not only the start of this series, but appears to be the cornerstone of a Godzilla-based franchise for IDW. If the other books are anywhere near as entertaining as this one was, I’m all in.